Wednesday, March 3, 2010

google is still evil

According to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP), google admits that they are continuing to censor search engine results in the Peoples Republic of China, and that they "have no timetable" for ending their voluntary cooperation in censoring the information available to 1/6 of humanity.

Chinese government regulations require that all companies doing business in China block sites deemed undesirable. These regulations include a list of words that all search engines are required to block.

It has been almost two months since google "boldly" announced, on January 12, that they would stop participating (voluntarily!!) in this censorship. Sources inside the PRC reported at the time of that announcement and immediately following that's search engine results were intermittently free of censorship for a grand total of less than 48 hours. Since January 14, censorship has been fully restored.

Nicole Wong (Google vice president and deputy general counsel) testified today before a congressional hearing on "Global Internet Freedom and the Rule of Law." She told the committee that google is "firm in our decision that we will not censor our search results in China and we are working towards that end," but she also said that "We don't have a specific timetable."

Back in January google proved that it was possible for them to simply and quickly remove their filters on search engine results. But then what happened? Who got to google and how did they do it? Who decided what when? As far as anyone knows, no one at google ever so much as received a turd in their mailbox, let alone were subject to any real intimidation or threats of any kind. Except, that is, for the threat of loosing all that busine$$ in China.

['My Little Cthulhu' toy, designed by John Kovalic, is available from 'Little victims' action figures sold separately.]

1 comment:

Kayleigh said...

I actually understand this.

When I was twelve and a half, I woke up one morning to discover that none of my accounts would let me in because Congress had just passed a new law requiring people to be 13. In one moment, I lost all of my E-mail archives and every contact I had built since the age of nine.

If Google immediately pulls things, China will probably block Google. Think of all of the users who would be locked out of their accounts! There really isn't an easy solution to this.